Sunday, March 11, 2012

Together, we can do anything.

How long does it take for your life to change? Some people would say it's a gradual change, others would say it can happen in a second. God has made it very clear to me that it can happen in a second. One word. One look. One hug. One tear. Just like that, for better or worse, everything is different. Everything.

I'm back from Honduras. My body is back at least. My heart and mind are still running around PLN with the kids I love so desperately. But this year is different. I'm sad, yes, but there is an overwhelming feeling of contentment and happiness. That is a God thing. Last year at this time, I was a puddle of emotions that didn't get out of bed unless absolutely necessary. I didn't even talk about Honduras or look at my pictures for probably a week. I was broken and I felt empty and alone. You can imagine the dread I felt when I knew I was going to have to experience all that again this year once I came back to the States. So before I left I did the only thing I knew to do. I prayed. I prayed that not only would God bless our trip and our work while we were in Honduras, but also that He would hold our hearts close to Him once we came back. He heard me and delivered the comfort I desperately needed. 

It's not like anything has changed. By that I mean, the conditions were all the same. If anything, it should've been harder leaving this time. Because now I had relationships I had established last year that grew this year. I was even closer to the kids now than I was a year ago. And I still had to leave. I still had to come home. But this year I have a different view on it all. Instead of thinking about how I only had five days with the kids, I thought about how I had five full days with the kids I loved so much. Instead of thinking about leaving them, I thought about how much I was bringing back with me when I left. Instead of dreading coming back to the culture of the U.S., I thought about what I could do to live a life God would be more satisfied with. It was the exact opposite of what I was expecting to feel.

It's not all rainbows and butterflies though. I still have the urge to cry when I look at the pictures and watch the videos. I would still give my right arm to go back to be those kids. I still don't love this culture. But after the pain comes peace. Peace in knowing when I can't hold Jose or Junior, they have a mother and a father and brothers and sisters who can and will. Peace in knowing that they are in God's hands. Peace in knowing I am in God's hands.

God blessed me with the opportunity to go back to be with the people of PLN 
and I wouldn't trade that opportunity for anything in the world.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

It's tomorrow.

I'm trying to think of the times in my life when I've used the phrase "it's tomorrow." Usually it's when I'm excited about something or when I'm nervous about something. For instance, I'm almost certain I've used that phrase to describe tests, quizzes, presentations and projects. But I've also used that phrase to describe youth rallies, camp and reunions.

Well, the reunion to end all reunions takes place tomorrow...and into Saturday. Tomorrow at 4:30am, I'm leaving my little nook in Searcy to head to Little Rock. From there I'll head to Houston. Houston Schmouston. It's where we go from Houston that makes breathing a little difficult. At 9:00am I'll snuggle into an uncomfortable plane seat, where I'll sit for three of the longest hours of my life until we land in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Honduras... HONDURAS!!! I wish I could say that I'm exaggerating when I say that as I'm typing this my heart is racing a little and I'm breathing a little more franticly...but I can't. My heart has been longing for this reunion since we drove off the Por Los Ninos property last year. I can't find words to express how ready I am.

So, we land in Tegucigalpa and frolic around for a little until we hop on a bus that will take us to Catacamas. When I say "take", I mean it's going to be a long, long, long, hot, perfectly bumpy, uncomfortable four hour drive. (Side note: It's pretty incredible what the brain can ignore when you long for something so badly) So then we'll be home. After a long, long day of travel, I'll be home in Catacamas. But my heart won't yet be complete. Not yet.

Saturday. I've been watching a lot of Wife Swap lately. You know, where the wives are sent half way across America to live with another family for two weeks? Well, when they are reunited with their husbands/kids, it's exciting and wonderful and precious. Okay, so take that and change the factors a little bit. I've been away from my kids for a year, separated by almost 3,000 miles. It's is going to be an epicly heartwarming, soul reviving, perfect reunion. I don't think there is a single word that can sum up every emotion I'll be feeling. I'm so thankful to be able to return to the country and the children that stole my heart.

It's tomorrow.